Friendly Football Bet Brings Father and Son Together

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MOBERLY - Making a bet might seem risky, but for Joe Navarro, it's a way to show support. He paid his dues Saturday morning after losing a deal to his step-son, Dalton Wright, but the bet doesn't involve any money.

Wright is a sophomore at Westran High School in Huntsville. He's also a member of the varsity football team. During his freshman season Wright scored three touchdowns for the Hornets. Navarro wanted to put that number to the test this year, so he made a bet with Wright at the beginning of the 2013 football season. 

"One of us threw it out there that if he scored 10 touchdowns this season I'd get a mohawk," Navarro said. "He scored his 11th touchdown last Thursday, so I had to honor my bet."

To Navarro, the mohawk is more than just a silly haircut. He works as a union boilermaker and travels a lot, which makes it tough to attend Wright's games. Navarro said his new haircut is a way to show his support.

"It's one of the small ways I figure I can show that I am behind him. We're real proud of him. He's a good kid and a natural leader, and as soon as he taps into that, he'll be unstoppable. He made four [touchdowns] in his last game, and he's an outstanding player. I don't even like football, but I love watching him play."

Wright said he wasn't sure he could win the bet.

"I thought we set [the standards] pretty high, I didn't think I was going to do it, but I'm here, I did it," he said.

Wright called his relationship with his step-dad a special one.

"He's been with me since I was four," Wright said. "My real dad, he hasn't actually really been there a lot, so he's pretty much just taken the place of, really, my dad. He's always been there for me and supported me in everything that I do."

Navarro said if the Hornets make it to state, he'll dye his new mohawk green. He plans to make another bet with Wright for next year's football season, but said the stakes might be a little higher.

"We'll have to up the ante next year," he said. "I guess ten was a little too easy."

The Westran Hornets will continue their undefeated season on Monday, November 11, in the Class 1 District Championship against the South Shelby Cardinals.